MLB rumors: Dodgers' Clayton McCullough new candidate for Giants job


MLB rumors: Dodgers' Clayton McCullough new candidate for Giants job

Farhan Zaidi is slowly narrowing his choices.

The Giants president of baseball operations has spent the last month interviewing candidates to replace Bruce Bochy as Giants manager. Sources told NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic that Zaidi has trimmed the pool of applicants down to three, with Gabe Kapler, Joe Espada and Pedro Grifol being the finalists. Sources told Pavlovic that Kapler has been the favorite at different points in the process.

But is there room for a mystery candidate? According to Sirius XM's Craig Mish, Dodgers field coordinator Clayton McCullough has become a candidate for the job.

McCullough has been with the Dodgers since 2015, working under both Zaidi and Kapler, who was LA's Director of Player Development before becoming the Phillies manager after the 2017 season.  The 39-year-old was a minor league catcher from 2002-2005 before joining the minor league coaching ranks. He became the Blue Jays' minor league coordinator of instruction in 2013 before joining Zaidi and the Dodgers in 2015.

Kapler, Espada and Grifol all reportedly have been given multiple interviews. Zaidi also reportedly has interviewed a number of other candidates, including Ron Wotus, Hensley Meulens, A's bench coach Mark Kotsay and Cubs first base coach Will Venable. 

It is not yet known whether or not McCullough has interviewed with Zaidi, but it does appear that having a previous relationship with him is working in the favor of Kapler and could work in McCullough's favor as well, should he move along in the process. 

[RELATED: Krukow is all for Giants going after Cole in free agency]

While the applicant pool has been whittled down, it does appear that Zaidi still is going to take his time choosing the next leader of the Giants. There's no reason to rush at this point.

Watch McCovey Cove Dave lose two baseballs during Giants-Rangers game

Watch McCovey Cove Dave lose two baseballs during Giants-Rangers game

Global pandemic or not, some Giants fans refuse to give up one of the organization's most unique traditions.

A group of fans has continued taking kayaks out into McCovey Cove, just over the right-field wall at Oracle Park, hoping to snag one of the elusive splash hits off the bat of a Giants slugger.

However, even if the home run comes off the bat of an opponent like Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, fans will go to great lengths to secure the ball.

[RELATED: Aruba Prime Minister wished Tromp well after Giants call-up]

You can see one of the Giants' more prominent fans, McCovey Cove Dave, jump (or more accurately slide) out of his kayak in an effort to secure Choo's two-run home run. Not only does he not get the home run ball from Choo, but another ball that slips out of Dave's kayak ended up in the hands of a female fan.

As you can see from Dave's Twitter account Sunday, social distancing did not seem to be a priority for those who flocked to McCovey Cove for the final time before a 10-game road trip.

Nevertheless, it's good to see Giants fans trying to make the most of the 2020 season, one in which no fans will be admitted to any MLB games as the league tries to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Chadwick Tromp got text from Aruba Prime Minister after Giants call-up

Chadwick Tromp got text from Aruba Prime Minister after Giants call-up

Chadwick Tromp has had a whirlwind week. The Giants rookie made his MLB debut on Wednesday, got the first two hits of his MLB career on Friday and hammered his first big-league home run on Sunday. Tromp also made history in the process, as he became just the ninth player from the tiny island nation of Aruba to play in MLB.

The young catcher helped the Giants win an important home series against the Texas Rangers at Oracle Park. Following Sunday's loss in the series finale, Tromp discussed the reaction to his promotion to the Giants' active roster in Aruba.

"So when I got called up," Tromp told reporters via Zoom Sunday. "The Prime Minister of Aruba texted me, and also our Minister of Sports also texted me and congratulated me. That was nice, it makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing and moving in the right direction."

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Tromp's first MLB home run was an absolute rocket and came at a critical moment in the game, tying the game up in the bottom of the sixth inning.

He's been in the minor leagues since 2013, beginning his professional career within the Cincinnati Reds organization. Playing just 26 games in Triple-A last season with the Sacramento River Cats, Tromp impressed the Giants' staff enough in Summer Camp to earn a spot on the 2020 active roster once his sore hamstring healed up.

[RELATED: What you might've missed in Giants' 9-5 loss vs. Rangers]

Tromp discussed more of how the people back home in Aruba celebrated his MLB debut following Friday night's game.

"The community back home, they're going nuts, I'm going to be honest with you," Tromp said. "It's crazy, people are celebrating, the whole island is basically celebrating. I love it. We're such a small island and this is very important to them because it puts us on a bigger scale and shows the world that a small island can also do big things in life."

Aruba's population is just over 100,000 total. Along with fellow native and Boston Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts, Tromp is representing the island nation with pride in this bizarre 2020 season.